Another plane which is based in Malaysia has disappeared. This time it is the AirAsia Indonesia, which is reported to have disappeared in the early hours of Sunday only two hours after take off on its journey from Indonesia to Singapore. It had 162 people on board.
It is reported that the Airbus A320-200, which had taken off from Indonesia at about 4 am local time, contacted air traffic control requesting a change to its planned flight path due to bad weather. It is further reported that immediately afterwards, the plane lost all contact with the air traffic control. Nothing has been heard from the aircraft since then. The authorities of the AirAsia have issued a statement in which they said that there were 155 passengers on the plane, which included 16 children and one infant. In addition, the authorities also informed members of the press that there were seven crew members aboard the plane. In order to help keep the families of those in the plane informed, the airline has set up a helpline. The number is +622 129 850 801.
This is the first time that AirAsia have lost a plane dispute being based in Malaysia, which has so far this year lost two other planes. Earlier in the year, the MH370 lost contact with their control centre and disappeared without a trace over the Indian Ocean in March. In July, the MH17 was shot down, allegedly by Russian forces over Ukraine. Investigators have indicated that their area of search will focus mostly on the weather conditions as they seem to be the cause for the disappearance of the plane. The Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia, Tony Fernandes, has indicated that he will be traveling to Surabaya, the place where the majority of the passengers hailed from. Fernandes is also the owner of the Queens Park Rangers, British Premier League team. He thanked the members of the public for prayers and urged everyone to be strong in a tweet early on Sunday when the news of the plane’s disappearance was announced.
Meanwhile, the British Embassy in Indonesia has confirmed that a British national was on the plane. The UK Foreign Office confirmed that Chi-Man Choi was indeed on the plane and he was travelling with his daughter. He further confirmed that the man’s family had been informed.